407 ETR Wants You to Pay for their Oversights

Reading through 407 ETR’s Factum filed to the Supreme Court of Canada, on their quest to quash the Appeal Court’s ruling on how it treats bankrupt people in the Province of Ontario, was like listening to the company whine about how we should be responsible for their chosen business model. They bought a highway without a gate and now want to hold the Province of Ontario and the Citizenry responsible to make sure it is financially viable. They are a private, for profit corporation. Last time I checked we were not under a fascist regime.

407 ETR agreed when they signed the concessions agreement with the Province that they would obey all the laws of Ontario and Canada while operating their business. NOWHERE in the 407 Act does it say that the company is exempt from the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act.

Reading page after page of an argument the Province should be having if it felt their jurisdiction was being encroached upon by the Federal Government, was like listening to an addict in denial refusing to go to rehab. The addiction in this case is the company’s unwritten license to print money and the rehab is the Province regulating this company’s business practices. Like a typical addict, everyone  knows there’s a problem, but the addict is in denial and the Province has been the company’s enabler.  It’s time for some tough love.

We have been told by the Province that because of a 2006 ruling, their hands are tied with respects to section 22 plate denial requests sent by 407 ETR.  The Province has refused to regulate this company’s atrocious behavior towards consumers.

When you consider the regulatory power the Province has and how this company’s business practices seems to fly in the face of any consumer protection legislation we know of in Canada, it begs the question why? Why is the Province relying on a 2006 ruling, that wasn’t appealed, to blindly honor the company’s request for plate denial, without any justification that the tolls, fees and interest claimed are lawful? Now the company is arguing on behalf of the Province that the Province indeed has the power to regulate.  Really?!  It seems to me this company wants to suck and blow at the same time.  When it’s convenient for them, the Province can regulate, BUT if the Province wanted to regulate to make sure the company is complying with all the other laws of the Province and Canada, as the company promised to do in the Concessions Agreement, it’s NOT OK because  the company wants to protect it’s unwritten ability to print money. Am I missing something here?

How this company has been treating consumers has become a contentious issue for many that have been slammed with a bill for thousands and thousands of dollars in unexplained, unjustified tolls, fees and interest.  This company is desperately trying to hang onto its power to rip people off.

In the Factum filed by 407 ETR to the Supreme Court, the company tries to paint Mr. Moore as a deadbeat that is blatantly refusing to pay the company for ALMOST 2000 trips he made from August 1998 – March 2007.  The company claims that there were 2 vehicles registered to Mr. Moore that drove on the highway, a 2002 Mercedes Benz that drove on the highway every month between January 2002 and March 2007 and a Pontiac.  The company claims that Mr. Moore didn’t dispute the charges.

What 407 ETR doesn’t tell you is where the bone of contention lies and allows for so much ambiguity.  407 ETR would prefer to rely on things that remain unsaid to paint the picture it wants. I feel the line is blurred with respects to the authority the Province has because the Province tells us that the company calls all the shots. This is not a question of a Province’s authority.  It’s a question of a company gone rogue.

What remains unsaid paints a picture of a company that is ripping people off to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars in hidden interest and fees.

Here are my questions to the company.  Out of those ALMOST 2000 trips it claims Mr. Moore made, how many kilometers were traveled in total?  $34,977.06 seems to be a rather excessive toll bill considering the average trip on Highway 407 is about 17 KM’s and even at today’s rate of approximately $.25/KM that would make the bill for tolls under $8,500.00. How much money did Mr. Moore pay over the 9 years you claim he traveled on your highway? Did you ever offer Mr. Moore a prepaid option to travel on your highway? Keeping in mind that the first section 22 was sent for a vehicle you claimed traveled from Jan 2002 – March 2007, if Mr. Moore was delinquent in paying his bill, why did it take you over 3 years to send a section 22?  According to section 16 and section 22 of the 407 Act, a section 22 should have been sent within 4-5 months of a delinquent bill.  Was there a problem locating Mr. Moore? How many invoices did you send Mr. Moore? Where the invoices sent to Mr. Moore’s address? Since Mr. Moore had been traveling on your highway since 1998 with his Pontiac, why did it take you 8 years to send him a section 22 on that account?  Did you properly and transparently inform Mr. Moore of his right to dispute the bill you claimed he owed?  Did Mr. Moore at anytime ask what he was being charged?  Did Mr. Moore at anytime disagree with your version of events? Did you give Mr. Moore all his options to dispute including appealing to the Independent Arbitrators?

The answers to those questions are what the 407 ETR wants to remain unsaid because it doesn’t help them paint a picture of a deadbeat customer that’s trying to skip out on paying tolls. Instead, it paints a better picture of the frustrations consumers have had when dealing with this company. This company is notorious for practicing invoice suppression that trumps up thousands and thousands of dollars in hidden interest and fees. Despite some people’s best efforts in trying to get a bill from the company, the company has sat on details that would help a consumer fight the company on bogus charges.  I think it’s very possible that Mr. Moore did dispute the charges, however, there was no adequate documentation or avenue to dispute the charges available to him.

407 ETR made a decision to purchase a highway without a gate.  It is NOT up to us to make sure the company’s profitability is protected, but it seems this company is bent on making us pay for their oversights.  We are not under a fascist government.  The government is not responsible for making sure this company makes money.  This was the company’s choice to buy into this business model.  If the company finds it difficult to offer unsecured credit, why hasn’t the company offered a prepaid option to travel on their highway? Sun Pass in Florida has done this successfully for many years.  With all the details of a persons account now available online, it sure would minimize this problem they seem to be having with “lending credit”.  Furthermore, isn’t the company now making a case for manned toll booths?  The Province may not want manned toll booths for other agendas they have, but if the Province refuses to regulate this company’s behavior to better protect consumers from financial abuse at the hands of this rogue company, then I don’t see any other choice but to put up manned toll booths.

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One Response to “407 ETR Wants You to Pay for their Oversights”

  1. Keep on working, great job!

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